Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The surname Watson is evidently from Watt, the nickname or abbreviation of Walter, to which has been added the termination son, the two combined signifying the son of Walter. Walters, Waterson, Fitz-Walter, Watt and Watts are cognate forms, all of them derived from Walter, which, according to Dower's Patronymica Brittanica, is "a personal name of Teutonic origin, not introduced till the Conquest."
The first English record that we have of the Watson family occurs in 1640, when Edward Watson is mentioned. He had fifteen children, one of whom, Edward (2), of Rockingham Castle, died in 1550. His son Edward (3) was high sheriff of Northamptonshire, and died in 1616. His son Lewis was sheriff under Charles I, and for his loyalty was made baron of Rockingham; he is the ancestor of the present earl of that name.
Another early Watson, probably of a different family, became bishop of Winchester. He was John Watson, a native of Rengworth, in Wocestershire, who was educate at All Souls College, Oxford, studied medicine, but under Elizabeth took orders and rose in 1572 to the deanery, and eight years later to the bishopric of Winchester. He wrote, among other things, a Latin tragedy called "Absalom," and died in 1589.
The name is exceedinly numerous in America, no less than eighteen different Watsons, five of them bearing the name of John, having come to the new world between 1623 and 1635. Few families have so early and comprehensive a representation in this country, but in many cases the record is very scanty.
(I) John Watson and Ruth Griffin were married at Amesbury, Mass., March 22, 1687. Among their children was Ebenezer, mentioned below.
(II) Ebenezer, son of John and Ruth (Griffin) Watson, lived at Newbury, Mass., and married Martha Rawlins.
(III) Eliphalet, probably son of Ebenezer and Martha (Rawlins) Watson, was born at Newbury, Mass., June 1, 1717, died at Norway, Maine, March 14, 1812. In early life he moved down to the Maine coast, where the first record we have of him is his admission to the church in Falmouth under the Rev. Mr. Smith in the year 1739. Soon after this he moved to Gorham, Maine, where he became the fifth settler. He owned a proprietor's right as early as 1742, when his name appears on a call for a proprietors' meeting. Eliphalet Watson and his family were among those who remained in town during the Indian war of 1746. They lived in the fort about seven years, suffering great hardships from war, wickness and famine. Two of their children, Ebenezer and Colman, are said to have been born in the fort.
Mr. Watson was one of the most efficient men in the new settlement, brave, prudent, honest and a good scout, readi to start on missions of danger. It is said that he always dealt on the square with the Indians, who committed but small depredations on his property, though when he lived in a log cabin, previous to moving into the fort, they made themselves very free with his belongings, walking into his house whenever it suited them, and handling and begging anything that struck their fancy.
Soon after the organization of the Congragational chruch in Gorham, about the year 1750, Mr. Watson was made a deacon, which office he filled for many years with much acceptance. He was highly respected by his fellow townsmen, and was often chosen to office.
Eliphalet Watson, in the year 1740, married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Capt. John and Martha (Colman) Phinney, the first settlers in Gorham. Their intention of marriage is dated at Falmouth, April 29, 1740, and they were married soon after. Mrs. Watson was a kind and loving mother, respected and beloved by all who knew her.
1. John, born Sept. 23, 1741, married Tabitha Whitney.
2. Martha, born Dec. 4, 1743.
3. Susanna, born Feb. 1, 1746, married Isaac Skillings.
4. Ebenezer, born Sept. 28, 1848, married Anna Whitney.
5. Colman P., whose sketch follows.
6. Elizabeth, born Feb. 11, 1754, married Jacob Hamblen.
7. Mary, born July 12, 1756.
8. Eliphalet, born March 20, 1759.
9. James, born Aug. 3, 1761, married Mary Davis.
10. Daniel, born Oct. 11, 1763, married Anna Maxfield, (seond) Polly Hanscom.
There is some question about the date and place of the death of Deacon Eliphalet Watson. One record says that he moved to Norway, Maine, and died there March 14, 1812, in his ninety-fifth year. This record also says that his wife died April 15, 1795, aged seventy-four years. The History of Gorham says that Deacon Watson moved from that town with his son Daniel, and died and was buried in the town of Poland, Maine, about the year 1814, aged ninety-seven. The former statement, from the explicitness of the dates, has been accepted as being more probably the correct one.
(IV) Colman P., third son of Deacon Eliphalet and Elizabeth (Phinney) Watson, was born in the garrison at Gorham, Maine, Dec. 4, 1751. He lived at West Gorham and at Buxton, Maine, and in 1795 settled at Waterford. Another record says that the younger five of his eight children were born in Waterford, which would make his probable removal there at least as early as 1779.
Colman P. Watson married Mrs. Patience (Whitney) Thomes, widow of Edward Thomes, and daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah (Day) Whitney, of Gorham. She belonged to one of the oldest Maine families, being descended from Nathaniel Whitney, born at York in 1680. She herself was born May 11, 1748, probably at Biddeford, where her people were then living, and on Oct. 9, 1766, she was married to Edward Thomes.
Children (of Colman P. & Patience):
1. Mercy, born April 27, 1775, married Abel Knight.
2. Stephen P., whose sketch follows.
3. Hannah, born Sept. 28, 1778, married Samuel Scribner.
4. Isaac, born 1779, married Deborah Sampson.
5. John, born 1781, married Polly Bangs.
6. Eunice, born 1783, married Eben Bisbee.
7. James, born 1785, married in Massachusetts.
8. Edmund, born 1797, married Hepzibah Flint.
(V) Stephen P., eldest son of Colman P. and Patience (Whitney) (Thomes) Watson, was born at Gorham, Maine, Dec. 19, 1776, and died about 1827, in Randolph, New Hampshire. When a child he moved with his people from Gorham to Buxton, and then to Waterford, which became his permanent home; he lived in the east part of the town.
He married Hannah Whitcomb Nourse.
1. Lois, married Justus Howe.
3. John, married Eliza Peabody.
4. William Whitcomb, whose sketch follows.
5. Abel, married (first) Susan Holmes, (second) Cordelia Burbank.
(VI) William Whitcomb, second son of Stephen P. and Hannah W. (Nourse) Watson, was born at Norway, Maine, May 22, 1815, died at Auburn, this state, Dec. 31, 1884. He recieved his education in the public schools of Shelburne, N. H., and studied medicine with Dr. A. A. Mann, of Skowhegan, later taking a course of lectures at a medical college in Philadelphia. He began practicing at Skowhegan, Maine, then moved to Randolph, N. H., and in 1850 to Palmyra, Maine. In 1859 he went to Newport, and afterwards to Auburn, which occurred in his seventieth year.
In 1884 Dr. Watson married Elmira Burbank, daughter of Jonathan and Susannah (Burbank) Lary, of Shelburne, N. H.
1. Adelia Susannah, born in Shelburne, N. H., Sept. 17, 1841.
2. Murray Brooks, whose sketch follows.
3. Byron H., born Jan. 26, 1849, died Sept. 15, 1850.
(VII) Murray Brooks, only son of Dr. William W. and Elmira B. (Lary) Watson, was born at Shelburne, N. H., July 24, 1843. He was educated in the public schools of Randolph, N. H., Palmyra and Newport, Maine, and at Corinna Academy. In 1861, at the age of seventeen, he taught school at Palmyra and Glenburn, Maine, and in 1862 came to Auburn, where he has since made his home, with the exception of two years. These were spent in Portland, in the interest of the Ara Cushman Shoe Company, of Auburn, in whose employ Mr. Watson served as bookkeeper for thirty-eight years. Before entering upon this occupation, Mr. Watson saw service in the war of rebellion. On. Sept. 17, 1864, he enlisted at Auburn and was assigned to Company I, Twenty-ninth Maine Volunbeer Infantry, and served in the Shenandoah Valley during the winter and spring of 1864-65. Upon his discharge, at the close of the war, in Washington, D. C., he went to Newort, Maine, and in August, 1865, returned to Auburn, where he entered the employ of the Ara Cushman Shoe Company, with whom he remainde nearly forty years. In 1905 he became a partner with J. P. Hutchinson in the insurance and real estate business.
Mr. Watson is Republican in politics, and hs been active in the affairs of the city, serving as clerk of the common council from 1873 to 1879, and was a member of that body from 1896 go 1898, inclusive. He was alderman in 1899, and he has also served four years on the school board. In 1904 he was elected city auditor, which position he held for three years. For several years Mr. Watson was a member of the Auburn Light Infantry, Company C, First Regiment, Maine Volunteer Militia, resigning that position in 1874, with the rank of first lieutenant. He is much interested in fraternal organizations, being a member of Tranquil Lodge, No. 29, A.F. and A.M., and having served as master, grand master, district deputy, past high priest of Bradford Chapter, No. 38, Royal Arch Masons; past thrice illustrious master of Dunlap Council, No. 6, R. and S.M. He is at present sword bearer of Lewiston Commandery, Knights Templar, and deputy grand master of the Grand Council of Maine, R. and S.M., also a member of Maine Consistory, A. and A.S., thirty-second degree. Mr. Watson belongs to the Odd Fellows; to Burnside Post, No. 47, G.A.R.; to the United Order of Pilgrim Faters, No. 33; to the Royal Arcanum, No. 31, In religious affairs he is a Universalist.
On July 23, 1865, Murray Brooks Watson married Helen Mar, adopted daughter of Bradford and Ann M. Blanchard, of Pittsfield, Maine, who was born Jan. 4, 1846, died Feb. 23, 1879.
William Blanchard, Murray Howard, Frederick Cushman and Helen Elmira.
On June 15, 1800, Murray B. Watson married (second) Margaret Ann, daughter of John and Bedelia Foley, of Yarmouth, Maine.
(VIII) William Blanchard, eldest child of Murray Brooks and Helen M. (Blanchard) Watson, was born in Auburn, Maine, Aug. 19, 1868, and on June 1, 1897, married Susie Belle Pinkham.
(VIII) Murray Howard, second child of Murray Brooks and Helen M. (Blanchard) Watson, was born Aug. 7, 1879, and Sept. 15, 1893, married Alice Coffin Merritt.
1. Murray H. (2), born Sept. 12, 1895.
2. Laurence M., born July 6, 1897.
3. Robert E., born Oct. 24, 1898.
4. John E., born June 23, 1901.
5. Edward, born Aug. 10, 1903.
6. Philip, born July 11, 1904.
(VIII) Frederick Cushman, third child of Murray Brooks and Helen M. (Blanchard) Watson, was born Sept. 7, 1871, and Sept. 7, 1897, married Lillian G. Curtis, who died in Camden, New York, Feb., 1904. Oct., 1905 Frederick C. Watson married (second) Gertrude Beals, of Turner, Maine; they have one child, Margaret A., born Cazenovia, New York, April 10, 1907.
Watson is an ancient English surname, derived from the abbreviated form of Walter - Wat - and son, as Kitson, Dickson, Hickson, Bilson were derived. Many of the branches bear arms and have had men of distinction in the United Kingdom and America.
(I) William Watson, the progenitor, was of Yorkshire, England. He married Elizabeth Watson.
Alfred, Raphael, William, John, Ellen, Julia, Ann, Mary.
(II) Henry, son of William Watson, was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, 1833. He married Matilda Scott, born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1832. He had a common school education, working in a dye-house at the age of eight years. Twenty-eight years later he became superintendent and manager of the same plant.
He came to America in 1877 and was superintendent of dyeing and finishing at the Pacific Mills, in Lawrence, for five years. In 1882 he returned to England and embarked in business for himself with a dyeing and finishing establishment. Ten years later he came to America again and was made superintendent of dyeing and finishing at the Goddall Woolen Company, at Sanford, Maine. He held this positon until he retired from active life in 1899. He now (1908) lives at Lawrence, Mass.
Mr. Watson was a Conservative in English politics; a Republican in American. He became a Free Mason at Sowerby, Yorkshire, England, and is a member of the Episcopal church.
He married, in 1856, Matilda Scott, born in Dundee, Scotland in 1833.
Lucinda, Annie, Harry, Frank, William, John (mentioned below).
(III) John, son of Henry Watson, was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, June 8, 1869. He attended the common schools in his native town, and learned the dyer's trade under his father's instruction. He came to America in 1889, and worked first for one year in the dyeing department of the Stevens Mills, at Lawrence. He removed to Sanford, Maine, in 1891, and since then has been in the employ of the Sanford Mills in the dyeing department. He succeeded his father as the head of the dye department, in 1899, and has held the position to the present time.
Mr. Watson is a Republican in politics; a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Dover, N. H.; Preble Lodge, Free Masons, of Sanford; White Rose Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; St. Armond Commandery, Knights Templar, of which he has been commander; Maine Council, Royal and Select Masters; Kora Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine, Lewiston; a thirty-second degree Mason, well known througout the state. He belongs to Clover Chapter, Eastern Star Lodge.
In religion he is an Episcopalian. He married, June 23, 1894, Annie Elizabeth, born Oct. 16, 1869, daughter of Charles Young, of Leeds, England.
Alice Irene, born Nov. 20, 1895, now attending the Sanford public schools.